Know the New Hiking How-tos
- Mills Reservation Main Parking Area, 68 Normal Ave, Cedar Grove, NJ 07009. GPS Coordinates: 40.857858, -74.210225
- From the Garden State Parkway south -- take Exit 154 (Clifton). Bear left after the toll booths, following the sign to Route 46, and continue west on Route 46. In 0.9 mile, take the Valley Road exit. At the bottom of the ramp, bear right onto Valley Road north, but immediately turn left, following the sign for "Montclair," then bear left again at the sign "U-Turn, Montclair." Proceed south along Valley Road for 1.0 mile and turn right onto Normal Avenue. Cross the railroad tracks, continue uphill for another 0.3 mile, and turn left into the parking area for Mills Reservation at the top of the hill.
- From I-280 West -- take Exit 8B, turn north onto Prospect Avenue/Route 23. Turn right onto Ridge Road; right onto Reservoir Drive; right onto Normal Avenue. Reservation is on the right.
- Old Quarry Road Parking Area -- Pathway link to Lenape Trail -- GPS Coordinates: 40.847641, -74.214321
NJ Transit bus #191/195, which provides limited weekday service, stops at the parking area near the intersection of Normal Avenue and Granite Drive. For more information, go to www.njtransit.com.
The park is 0.3 mile uphill along Normal Avenue from the Montclair Heights station on the Montclair-Boonton rail line of NJ Transit (service provided only on weekdays). For more information, go to www.njtransit.com, or call 800-722-2222 (in New Jersey) or 973-762-5100 (outside New Jersey).
This 150-acre oasis remains in its natural state, with hiking trails and woods roads surrounded by suburbia -- it's a great little place for a quick respite from daily activities.
The park has a network of loop trails totaling six miles. The seven individual blazed trails range from 0.1-mile up to 1.5 miles. A 1.5-mile segment of the 34-mile Lenape Trail (yellow blaze) passes through. A synopsis of each blazed trail and helpful (if sketchy) map can be seen by clicking here. The map shows numerous trailheads located at the Normal Avenue parking lot on the northern end of the park. It can accommodate about 20 cars.
To reach the “Hiker Information Station,” walk straight to the back of the parking area, slightly to the right is a wide pathway up a hill. At its crest, on the left, is the information kiosk. To the right is the Reservoir Trail trailhead (red).
There is also parking for about 10 cars at the south end of the Reservation on Old Quarry Road, where another Hiker Information Station with a trail map is located. A pathway leads to the Lenape Trail (yellow).
The official trail map is said to be outdated and, confusingly, shows only woods road (identified as “trails”).
Click for a detailed description of a hike in the Reservation.
Mills Reservation County Park
Mills Reservation is located on the First Watchung Mountain where the parkland has been preserved in its natural state, including deciduous woodland and wetlands. Aside from blazed trails and woods roads crisscrossing around and through it, the only development is a small parking area.
The three Watchung mountain ranges were formed when molten lava extruded out of the earth’s surface and cooled rapidly. The outcrop at Quarry Point provides not only a scenic lookout of the surrounding area, but also an opportunity to examine the basaltic lava.